Google Gifts Maccabees On The Eve Of New Year

Google confirmed to making several minor changes to the core algorithm last December. But Google played down the changes saying that the updates were part of a routine changes brought to improve relevancy. Upheaval in digital media due to the updates was felt between December 12 and 14.

What is update Maccabees?

It is core update that could include:

  • Algorithmic updates that improve relevance for a search query.
  • Changes are made in link scores. In this situation some links get more weightage than others. Some websites are re-ranked due to devaluation of link and others are ranked high due to high value of links. Also some sites become vulnerable due to devaluation of links.

  • Updates are made in how content is scored. If a search query is for information, commercial content would be considered irrelevant for this search.

When the update was rolled out?

First report about the new update came on December 12 but the impact wasn’t widespread. It was only some affiliate type sites that reported loss of ranking and traffic. Ecommerce sites that are more vulnerable to algorithmic changes remained cool as only a small number of sites reported drop in traffic.

For search engine experts, it is interesting to see Google targeting specific sites with updates. But there’s nothing to fear about Maccabees as it is only about improving relevancy. The improvement could be on on-page or off-page signals or on both the signals.

Common views about the update 

  1. Maccabees is related to mobile ranking

Experts dismiss this theory as no evidence is found regarding any sign of increase in Google’s mobile bot. Also some sites reported that they’re already mobile friendly and they witnessed no drop in traffic after update.

  1. Desktop visibility was affected more than mobile ranking

It is an interesting hypothesis but it couldn’t withstand the test of time as sites with opposite results start posting their reports that show that mobile results are still on the top.

Which sites are most affected by the Maccabees update?

It’s true that the update is related to links and it can be speculated the update would be related to shopping. Since Google is saying that the latest algorithmic change is to improve relevancy it is inferred that the sites affected would be normal ecommerce sites. But not all ecommerce sites reported drop in traffic.

Search engine experts are of the opinion that the update could be related to shopping websites or with the sites that have similar attributes. Google isn’t clear on the sites it is targeting with Maccabees as it said that the updates could be regarding on-page or off-page or both.

The digital media will see the effect of the updates in 2018


It isn’t the first time that Google has launched an update but Maccabees is a bigger update. This major updated created a few ripples in digital media as large number of sites remain unaffected from this algorithmic change. But the changes will take some time in showing results.


Udit Khanna is a Digital Marketing Course professional at Expert Training Institute, an expert in Digital Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Pay Per Click, Social Media, etc. who helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. Previously, Udit worked as a marketing professional for various startups and tech companies. He graduated with B.Sc from IGNOU with a dual degree in Business Administration (Marketing & Finance).

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